I love spirals and today we’re making a really cool but simple wire spiral pendant on ECT TV episode 46!
Watch the video tutorial here:
Symbolism in Spirals
I have been drawn to spirals for quite a while. I use them quite often in jewelry designs. In fact, I have done 10 free jewelry tutorials involving spirals on my blog. (I linked them all below!) They look cool, but they have a lot of meaning, too.
I always have thought about the meaning of spiral being that in your life you’ll come around to the same spot again (same situation, etc.) in your life, but the next time you have more understanding and be able to deal with that situation or use past information to handle the situation much better this time.
I did some research and found more symbolism for spirals. Maybe you’ll find something that resonates with you in this list:
In spirituality, spirals symbolize the path leading from outer consciousness to inner. (Ego to enlightenment.)
Spirals can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and expanding out.
Spirals symbolize growth, evolution, coming back to the same point in your life but with new understanding.
Female energy and the womb.
Harmony, beginning, concentration and focus.
Journey, direction and progress.
In Celtic symbolism spirals play a huge role. It usually symbolizes birth, development and expansion.
Whether you find symbolic meaning in spirals or if you just think they are a cool shape, you’re going to love this simple and fun tutorial!
Wire Spiral Pendant Tutorial in Step-by-Step Photos:
Tools and Materials:
16 gauge dead soft round wire
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Hammer and steel block
Wire: I used 16 gauge wire, but you can try larger and smaller gauge wire. The larger the gauge the larger the pendant will be. I wouldn’t recommend using smaller than 18 gauge wire though.
Hammers: I used a chasing hammer (pictured above) to flatten the pendant. If you would like the wire to keep it’s round shape, use a rawhide, nylon or plastic hammer to harden the wire without flattening it.
For this pendant we’ll work from the coil, meaning do not cut the wire off the coil.
To start make sure you have a flush cut on the end.
Make a loop at the end of the wire.
Hold the wire with round nose pliers so the wire is at the top of the pliers but not poking through. You should be able to run your finger over the top of the pliers.
Twist your wrist away from you and wrap the wire around the pliers. Once you’ve gone as far as your wrist will allow, readjust the pliers, your wrist and the wire and complete the loop.
It will look like a “P.”
We’re going to spiral around that original loop. To do that hold the loop in chain nose pliers.
Push the wire up. Then readjust the loop in the chain nose pliers and do it again.
As you’re spiraling and moving the pliers, keep the pliers positioned close to the loose wire and just do the spiral a tiny bit at a time.
Continue to spiral until it’s the size you would like. I made mine about the size of a quarter.
Cut the wire making sure you make a flush cut.
Make a loop just like you did to start the spiral. Make sure you make it large enough to fit a chain or cord through.
Use your chain nose pliers to twist the loop so it’s perpendicular to the spiral (so it will hang correctly when you place it on a cord or chain.)
Hold the pendant with the loop off the side of the steel block and hammer the pendant. See note above about hammers.
If you want, you can also hammer the loop.
Add your favorite chain or cord and wear your new pendant!
More Spiral Tutorials:
My new Beaded Spiral Pendant eWorkshop. These pendants are so pretty and fun to make that I’ve made several! If you like today’s tutorial, you’ll love this eWorkshop. Learn more about it here.
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I’m often asked about what wire to use for jewelry making projects. The answer really depends on the project you’re making.
In this video I tell you about the main wire used for ring making.
Important things to remember:
1. The wire you use will depend on the actual ring you’re making. If you’re making a ring from a tutorial of mine, I will tell you what type of wire to use.
2. If you are new to jewelry making or if you’re experimenting with a ring project, you probably want to use a less expensive wire to experiment with such as copper, brass or a plated copper wire. You can find these wires in craft stores in the jewelry making section or even in hardware stores (for brass and copper.)
3. The number for ring gauge is higher for thinner wires and lower for thicker wires. So 18 gauge wire is thicker than 20 gauge wire.
4. If you don’t have exactly the gauge of wire that is called for in a project, don’t be afraid to experiment with other gauges of wire.
20 gauge half-hard round wire (I used copper, but use whatever metal you like)
Chain nose pliers
Jewelry file (or a nail file works fine, too)
Chasing hammer and steel block or anvil
* About the beads for this project. You can use any beads you like, but make sure the bore hole isn’t too big. This might take a little experimentation if you’re trying different beads.
Also remember when choosing beads to not choose beads that are too heavy and pull down your ears.
Cut 2 pieces of wire the same length. I cut mine to 4″. We’ll fold the wire in half, so in this case the earrings will hang about 2″ from my ears. You might want to make yours shorter or longer.
Make a flush cut on each end of each wire. (Use the back of your wire cutters toward the work.)
Hammer one end of each wire flat with your chasing hammer. I hammered the bottom 1/2″. You can make sure to only hammer the amount you want by just putting that amount on the steel block. Alternatively, you could make a mark on the wire and then wipe it off when you’re done hammering.
You are hammering the wire flat and it will be wider, too. That is what will keep the bead on the wire.
Slide a bead on each wire.
If the bead slides off you need to either:
Hammer the end more to flatten it out more, or
Use a bead with a smaller bore hole.
Sometimes this takes a little experimenting.
I like to loosely find the middle of the wire.
Bend the wire in half against chain nose pliers.
Use your fingers to sort of curve out the wire.
File the end that will go into your ears with a jewelry file or nail file. I like to round the edges.
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